Apparently Mark Brophy, Libertarian Party candidate running for
Congress State Representative in Colorado’s District-53 thought that gender-bending and dressing up as lady liberty would score him some media coverage. But the stunt only served to piss off other third party candidates and the disdain of folks who showed up to watch a civilized debate:
The scene last week in the Colorado State University student government senate meeting room was typical of most political forums, with one notable exception””in addition to the suited candidates ready to summarize their campaigns, and the gathered voters eager to hear about them, was a man dressed head to toe as the Statue of Liberty, complete with a foam crown and toy torch.
Presumably, some in the crowd were tempted to brand him as one of the lunatic fringe that seem to be attracted to any political gathering, but Mark Brophy isn’t so easily dismissed.
[…] It’s clearly a matter of opinion as to whether dressing in costume helps or hurts the effort, but it certainly doesn’t do any favors for other minor-party candidates who are serious about getting elected.
“Some of the well-meaning comedy, like candidates appearing in costume, doesn’t help someone like me who’s trying to present a serious alternative,” says Eric Eidsness, a Reform Party candidate for Colorado’s 4th Congressional District.
Someone explain exactly what the message was supposed to be, because it reeks of corny opportunism.
Fortunately for Brophy, there was Gene Freeman, chairman of the Larimer County Libertarian Party, able to salvage some credibility by moving back into talking points about winning elections by presenting viable candidates:
“The point is to increase numbers and awareness. Eventually we’ll win, or at least get our issues into a major political arena,” he says.
According to the Larimer County chapter, the Libertarian Party is the only growing political party in Colorado, while major party numbers are decreasing on both sides of the fence.
“We’ve doubled our numbers in the last few years, and we want to do it again in the next five” says Brophy.
But others, like Freeman, are clearly focused on winning elections.
“We are running to win,” Freeman says. “We’re not really doing the education thing so much anymore.”
This is a prime example of why any political/publicity stunts should avoid putting the candidate in costume or performing the stunt personally (or wearing hats that make your head look freakishly large). It screams of desperation, and voters can smell desperate ploys a mile away. This is not to say that publicity stunts are bad, but next time I’d suggest he get some supporters or volunteers to dress up in Liberty drag.